Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Summer coolness in Spain: tiles and porcelain

Summer coolness is best enjoyed in tiled interiors and exteriors as the mediterranean countries well know. Above a vieuw of the tiled veranda of the Catalan modernist Parque Guell in Barcelona. If you are in the north of Spain on the Meditteranean side this summer, it is well worth a visit. Designed by Antoni Gaudi,a catalan modernist archtitect in the early 20th Century, the park was intended as a lifestyle exercise combining livingspace, communalbuildings and a park. It proved extremely expensive to complete and so only the park was ever completed to the original design. If you ever wondered where the ideas of some of Spain's more famous artists from the movida period( post Franco 80's) found their inspiration,like Javier Mariscal (who designed the poster I attached), look at Gaudi's use of traditional materias such as old tiles, broke them and recoverted them in startling designs.

Another wonderful spot is down south in Sevilla,take an early morning or late afternoon walk to the Plaza de Espana. It was built also in the early part of the 20th Century, for a Spanish/LatinAmerican world exhibition. The square is bordered by a colonnade with seats. The colonnade and seats are tiled in those lovely Spanish tiles known as azulejos, each seat has a medallion representing a famous vieuw in Spain. What you next need is to take a summer picknick with you in the summer evening and sit down in either of these two spots. What I reccomend is to take a chilled bottle of Manzanilla (very dry sherry) or fresh young white Galician wine (Viura), accompany with a tortilla de patatas (spanish omelette)and some slices of spanish cured ham, the best being "Pata Negra". Then go down for a swim, the coast is not far in either case.If you are flush with cash or in need of some beautiful plates, why not go and visit the porcelain factory, La Cartuja de Sevilla,just outside Seville. It has some lovely services in vieux rose and royal blue which bring alive a dinner party al fresco on your veranda or garden.

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